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Old 07-30-2015, 03:27 PM
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Default My NIB Mauser Luger

Just picked up my NIB Mauser Parabellum (Luger). I've wanted a Luger for a long time now, but I had a dilemma. The old WWI / WWII Lugers are basically collectibles if they are in great or new condition, and of course I would never carry or shoot it. I wanted a NEW Luger, and one that I could shoot regularly AND carry if it proves reliable.

Apparently Mauser (one of the original producers of the Luger) used Swiss tooling to produce the Pistole Parabellum Luger for a run in the 1970's, with Interarms importing them for sale in the US.

Mine came brand new (appears unfired), with the original box, two magazines, cleaning tool, and a tool to load the magazines.

First impressions:
1) It feels amazing in the hand. It balances unlike any pistol I've ever held.
2) The toggle-action is a mechanical marvel.
3) It fits pretty well in my Glock 30 thumb break holster.
4) Magazines are HARD to load!
5) The bluing is very well done.

Any advice from those who know the Luger? I'm thinking of getting some extra mags from MecGar. I've heard so many myths and mixed things about the 'Legendary Luger', I'm not sure what to believe. It seems like a very robust design; is it a durable, long lasting piece? Does anyone know for sure if it is safe to carry / keep a round chambered with the safety engaged?

Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:47 PM
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I don't like it when people say "I think I remember reading...", but I'm going to violate my own rule here.

Somewhere in my Gun Digest collection is an article about these guns, but I don't feel like digging them out - maybe later.

So, if I remember correctly, these guns were reverse engineered from Swiss drawings, not their tooling. Later changes were made to add the "bump" at the bottom of the front grip strap, and to delete the grip safety. There's a picture in a different Gun Digest of one with a heavy barrel and adjustable rear sight. If any of those were ever imported, it could not have been many.

Mine shoots very well, but I would not use it as a carry pistol with so many better choices available. You can buy a reproduction Luger loading tool from several places for just a few dollars that really helps.

Mine should be long lasting because I only shoot it occasionally for fun.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:57 PM
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I wonder if the old WWII magazines would work in it. They load very easily to me. It would be cool to use one in that gun. . .expensive but cool.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:00 PM
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The Mecgars worked OK in mine. I think I bought two or three, so that is not much of a sample, but I haven't heard anything bad about them other than the usual "they're not original" gripes. (Of course they're not "original." ) Most people seem to be glad to have a reliable source.

I don't think I would carry the piece loaded and on-safe, though I do the same thing with 1911s and don't give it another thought. I'll be interested to see what others with superior knowledge say about that. As to durability, the design does have weaknesses. My gun managed to come to grief within the first 100-rounds or so. My impression is that it might be best to take it easy on the Mauser.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
The Mecgars worked OK in mine. I think I bought two or three, so that is not much of a sample, but I haven't heard anything bad about them other than the usual "they're not original" gripes. (Of course they're not "original." ) Most people seem to be glad to have a reliable source.

I don't think I would carry the piece loaded and on-safe, though I do the same thing with 1911s and don't give it another thought. I'll be interested to see what others with superior knowledge say about that. As to durability, the design does have weaknesses. My gun managed to come to grief within the first 100-rounds or so. My impression is that it might be best to take it easy on the Mauser.
Thanks for the input. Was your Mauser a 1970's Interarms import like mine? What broke?
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:58 PM
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I lifted the foam in the box, and found the original test target from the German factory, plus all other paperwork. Cool stuff.

The magazine loading tool came with the gun, as did a cleaning rod.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:38 PM
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The Parabellum Story ? Mauser?s Luger Forgotten Weapons

Good info here.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:48 PM
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Neat gun and package,
Always thought those post war Mauser copies were really neat but havent run into one locally.
Did pick up one of the early SS copies made domesticly back in the 90's.
Mine works with old mags but has a few cast parts like the safety lever.

I would not carry a round in the chamber .
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:02 PM
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I like my Mauser 29/70 too, it's a solid shooter with most ball ammo. Doesn't run on any contemporary jhps as you'd expect.
The mag with get easier with use to load, I need to buy a few extras.
My only gripe would be the squarish grip panels and I like the the PO8 style 'bump' vs the Swiss pattern gripframe.


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Old 07-30-2015, 06:18 PM
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They definitely did re-introduce the Swiss Luger in, I think, 1970. I remember it well because I really wanted one but didn't have the cash as I was still in college and had to count pennies. I don't think I ever actually saw one in person. At the time I had several WWII Lugers in average condition, but lusted for a new one. I wish I had kept those. All I now have in that vein is a single very nice 1944 Mauser P-38 with its original holster.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:31 PM
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Congrats on your newest!

I know next to nothing about them other than they look very neat, so don't take this for gospel but I doubt it's drop safe so I wouldn't carry with a round chambered.

Really cool pistol though.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:43 PM
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Since this pistol has both the thumb safety AND the grip safety, I wonder how it would compare to a cocked and locked 1911 in terms of 'safety' with a loaded chamber.

For what it's worth, the manual states that with the safety engaged, the pistol is safe with a round in the chamber. But that's relative: safe as in, trigger can't be pulled but if dropped it WILL go off?

I know there's a spring loaded striker that is cocked when a round is chambered. I just don't know how much momentum it would take for the striker to 'overcome' its spring and hit the primer with enough force to make it go bang.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:50 PM
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The spring loaded striker(firing pin) isn't free to move back and forth
Sear engagement is on the firing pin itself and the sear.
If for some reason the firing pin moved forward when the gun was dropped, it would have to have either slipped off of the sear (bad sear engagement) or sheared the sear engagement edges off.
The FP is either cocked,,or down hard on the cartridge or empty chamber.

The thumb safety and the grip safety only blocks the sear bar (sometimes called the trigger bar). This sear bar is only one part of the group that make up the firing system. Trigger, trigger bar, sear lever & firing pin.
All 4 of these move and engage on different planes to interlock and produce the motion needed to lift the sear bar off of the engaged firing pin sear edge, releasing it and firing the pistol.
The often spoken of 'hard' trigger on a Luger usually comes from poorly fitted mongrel parts or someone that has decided to smooth up an already well fitted pistol.
They are not easy to work on and the L shaped sear lever pinned inside the side plate seems to get the most abuse by table top trigger'smiths.

Anyway, the safety(s) block only the sear bar on the left side of the frame from rotating during trigger pull. Neither blocks the heavy firing pin under spring tension, neither blocks the trigger itself.
You depend on the near perfect fit of the safety against the sear bar to prevent it from rotating enough to release the firing pin and fire the pistol.
***With an Unloaded Pistol***You can watch the sear bar on many pistols move(rotate) slightly in it's slot on the left side of the frame when on 'safe' and trigger is pulled.
That movement if there is any, is disengagement of the sear from the firingpin

That's a very nice looking Mauser Luger from the '70's
The Swiss Model was the first style made and the early ones were very nice. Collectors nit picked them of course and wanted the standard P08 style which they got later,,along with a bunch of other variations that became nothing more than commemoratives in my view.
The later production lacked the better fit and sharp line polishing that this one shows. Some were real bad and had sloppy buffer job polishing jobs.

I use MegGar magazines as substitute mags in several original Lugers and have excellent results with them. I've never used one in one of these 70's production Mauser Luger pistols so I can't say anything about how they work there.
FWIW, the MegGar have a strong spring too,,and I usually only load 5 rds in them. Either that or my hands have really fallen apart!

Last edited by 2152hq; 07-30-2015 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
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The spring loaded striker(firing pin) isn't free to move back and forth
Sear engagement is on the firing pin itself and the sear.
If for some reason the firing pin moved forward when the gun was dropped, it would have to have either slipped off of the sear (bad sear engagement) or sheared the sear engagement edges off.
The FP is either cocked,,or down hard on the cartridge or empty chamber.

The thumb safety and the grip safety only blocks the sear bar (sometimes called the trigger bar). This sear bar is only one part of the group that make up the firing system. Trigger, trigger bar, sear lever & firing pin.
All 4 of these move and engage on different planes to interlock and produce the motion needed to lift the sear bar off of the engaged firing pin sear edge, releasing it and firing the pistol.
The often spoken of 'hard' trigger on a Luger usually comes from poorly fitted mongrel parts or someone that has decided to smooth up an already well fitted pistol.
They are not easy to work on and the L shaped sear lever pinned inside the side plate seems to get the most abuse by table top trigger'smiths.

Anyway, the safety(s) block only the sear bar on the left side of the frame from rotating during trigger pull. Neither blocks the heavy firing pin under spring tension, neither blocks the trigger itself.
You depend on the near perfect fit of the safety against the sear bar to prevent it from rotating enough to release the firing pin and fire the pistol.
***With an Unloaded Pistol***You can watch the sear bar on many pistols move(rotate) slightly in it's slot on the left side of the frame when on 'safe' and trigger is pulled.
That movement if there is any, is disengagement of the sear from the firingpin
From your incredibly detailed and informative post, is it safe that I should conclude the following:

The safeties (thumb and grip) are designed to prevent the firing pin from striking the primer of a round in the chamber, even if dropped. However, because the design of the internal parts, the Luger is not as reliably drop safe as contemporary pistols, because if one part is just a little messed up, we can still get a AD if it is dropped.

Is that correct?
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:25 PM
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First, thanks to shawnpattern for that link, and saving me from going through my mounds of disorganized periodicals. I've saved that article/file, which means I'll never need it again.

I bought mine used, and got both magazines but no box, loading tool, manual, etc.

It's a hoot to shoot, and you will attract people at the range who want to check it out!

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Old 07-30-2015, 08:57 PM
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Thanks for the input. Was your Mauser a 1970's Interarms import like mine? What broke?
Yes, it is. Mine has a longer barrel than your gun, but has the same grip pattern (Swiss). The firing pin retainer has a radial "key" or tennon that holds the retainer (with firing pin and spring contained) in place. The "key" was either too soft and could not do its job, or else the part was improperly sized (not enough engagement). The resulting failure made ignition erratic and eventually it failed entirely.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
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Yes, it is. Mine has a longer barrel than your gun, but has the same grip pattern (Swiss). The firing pin retainer has a radial "key" or tennon that holds the retainer (with firing pin and spring contained) in place. The "key" was either too soft and could not do its job, or else the part was improperly sized (not enough engagement). The resulting failure made ignition erratic and eventually it failed entirely.
Okay, thanks for that response. I'll keep an eye on that part.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:12 PM
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Wear a hat when shooting or it will drop hot brass down the back of your neck.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:05 AM
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Back when I worked for Uncle Sam, the black government ball point pens were common. I made trigger springs from those pen springs, making them as long as the original spring. They were a lot lighter than the original and usually improved the triger pull greatly.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:31 AM
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"...The safeties (thumb and grip) are designed to prevent the firing pin from striking the primer of a round in the chamber, even if dropped. However, because the design of the internal parts, the Luger is not as reliably drop safe as contemporary pistols, because if one part is just a little messed up, we can still get a AD if it is dropped.

Is that correct?..."

That's a good way to look at it. Good designers make their guns as reliable and safe as possible,but some are just better than others.
I'd be more concerned with an old original that may have been through a couple wars, maybe a rebuild or two and had some home fixin' done to it along the way than a pristine example.
Less so w/one of these earlier 70s production Mauser/Lugers that shows careful fitting and assembly.
But any of them can exhibit less than perfect sear bar interception by the safety.

Personally, I wouldn't carry any Luger w/a round chambered and the gun holstered (on safe),,but that's just me.

They are a beautiful handgun and I own several. I enjoy shooting all of them. But they are not a pistol for SD carry IMO with so many better and safer (carry) designs around.
SD carry is a serious biz, cool factor shouldn't be part of the decision.
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